>Elsinge's Hospital; or, as it is otherwise denominated, Elsynge Spittle.
Stow, in his Survey of London, p. , informs us, that
It appears by the charter of foundation of this hospital, as inserted in the Monasticon,[*] that
and that the foundation had not only the King's license, but the consent of Stephen Gravesend, Bishop of London, as well as of the Dean and Chapter of , who, being patrons of the church of St. Mary, , did, with the good will and consent of the said Bishop, appropriate the same to the newly-founded hospital. They, however, had this proviso,
By what has preceded, it appears that Elsinge Hospital, at , consisted of a custos or rector, and secular priests, besides the poor miserable pensioners.
The pious founder, desirous of extending the plan of this institution, in , with the consent of the Dean and Chapter, obtained of Ralph , Bishop of London, his license to change the secular priests into canons regular of the order of St. Augustin, and to be governed by a prior: the Bishop also added another canon, making up the number , who were to be under the government of the prior, and upon every vacancy, by license from the Dean and Chapter, was to be chosen by the canons, and presented to the Dean and Chapter for approbation; he was then to be presented to the Bishop, who was to confirm him, declaring at the same time,
William Grey, Bishop of London, patron and ordinary of Thele College, Hertfordshire, in the diocese of London, consisting of a master and chaplains, who, through the greatest negligence, had suffered much of the lands of that foundation to be lost, obtained a license of Henry VI. dated at , , to transfer the possessions which remained belonging to that College to the priory of Elsinge Spital, on condition to find canonsregular in the church of Thele, and in the priory, to pray for the souls of Sir William de Goldington, the founder of Thele College, his wife Margaret, his ancestors and heirs; and for the souls of Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and Thomas de Vere, his son, &c. The estates conveyed by this transfer were the churches of Stansted Thele and Aldham, and various lands, tenements, and possessions, situated in Buer Gifford, Chelmsford, Writtle, and Bromfield, in the county of Essex; and Thele, Stansted-Abbot, Amwell, Broxborne, and Hoddesdon, in the county of Hertford. Bishop Grey, with the consent of the prior and convent, ordained, that
Without any further accession of estate, Elsinge Hospital remained till the reign of Henry VIII. when it shared the fate of other religious houses, and was surrendered to that monarch in the year of his reign, its annual value amounting to
The Harleian Manuscript in the , No. , has the following List of Superiors of Elsinge Spital, extracted from the Bishop of London's Register:
In Dr. Fiddes's Life of Cardinal Wolsey, Appendix, occurs the name of
who was present at the convocation summoned to discuss the divorce of Henry VIII. from Queen Catharine of Spain.
Henry VIII. granted the desecrated priory to John Williams, Esq. afterwards Sir John, and Lord Williams of Thame, and Keeper of the King's Jewels; who converted the hospital, with the lodgings of the prior and canons, into a dwelling-house; the chapel yard he transformed into a garden; and the cloisters he reduced to a gallery; while the apartments of the poor blind brethren he converted into stabling for his horses! During his Lordship's residence an accidental fire broke out, on Christmas Eve , in the gallery, which burnt with such fierceness, that the whole house and other buildings were consumed, and several of the royal jewels embezzled and destroyed.
Previously to this accident, the chapel of the priory had been appropriated to be the parish-church of St. Alphage, on the following occasion.—We shall extract the circumstances in the words of Mr. Reading, as inserted in his
at the end of his Catalogue of Sion College Library:
The chapel having been thus appropriated as the parish-church, we continue its history to this period. The adjoining premises, which had been destroyed by fire, having been rebuilt, Margery, daughter of Lord Williams, and wife of Lord Norrys, conveyed the whole estate, after her father's death, to Sir Rowland Hayward, Alderman and Lord Mayor of London in and the latter part of , for the sum of Sir John Hayward sold it to Mr. Alderman Robert Parkhurst, reserving a quit-rent, and , left by his father to the poor of St. Alphage for ever.
In the church underwent a repair; in , at an expense of ; and again in . In the year the church was declared to be in such a decayed and dangerous state, that a committee was appointed for rebuilding it. An offer was made by Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Staines to take down the old and construct a new fabric, for the sum of ; his offer was accepted, and the present church was opened in the year .
The structure is of brick and stone, with fronts; in , consisting of a pediment, supported by pillars; between which, in the centre, is a Venetian window, and on each side circular windows, over false doors. The front facing is composed of a lofty pediment, supported by pillars, between which are a plain arched window, and a door-way into the church. The interior is without pillars, and devoid of ornament: it is, however, very neat.
The most remarkable monuments are the following:
. of marble, for Sir Rowland Hayward, twice Lord Mayor of London, in the year and part of . His effigy is carved in a kneeling posture, with wife and children, in the same attitnde, at his right hand; and his wife and children at his left; and under the image of Sir Rowland in this inscription:
Underneath are the armorial bearings of the Company of Clothworkers.
The monument has the following additional inscriptions:
. A tablet, dedicated
. Near the above is a large monument, on which is sculptured Charity nursing infants. On the monument is the following, in memory of the deceased:
We have classed these memorials together, as belonging to family.
On a gravestone in the middle aisle:
In the church of St. Alphage, Anno Domini , was also buried Richard Leigh, Esq. Clarencieux King of Arms, author of The Accidence of Armoury, &c.
Among the rectors was JAMES HALSEY, who in was most infamously treated by the rebels, and died of grief in . He was succeeded by JOHN SEDGWICK, who, according to Newcourt and Granger, was but of very indifferent character. His successor was the famous THOMAS DOELITTLE, who was deprived for conconformity in . The next rector was MATTHEW FOWLER, S. T. P. of Christ-church, Oxford, and in his younger years of those, scholars who valiantly defended the cause of King Charles I. The present rector is the Reverend ROBERT WATTS, A.M. Librarian of Sion College.
The only remaining part of Elsinge Spital is the lower division of the steeple of the priory church, which forms of the plates of this number, and is a very interesting relict of that antient religious foundation.
It occupies a square of feet at the western end of the church, and consists of lofty arches of unequal heights; those on the north and west sides measuring from the area to the top feet; the other sides feet. From the points of the latter, the old wall ( feet inches thick) rises feet. The wall above is only feet; so that there has been evidently a later superstructure—occasioned, probably, by the fire of London, which had damaged the church steeple as well as Sion College.
The bells are in number: a tenor of cwt. and a sanctus of cwt. They are supported by an antient oak frame fixed in the old wall, at a short distance from the top; and are ascended to by a small stone staircase, winding up a circular stone tower, at the north-east corner of the steeple. Both staircase and tower are exceedingly decayed.
We have thus presented to the view of our readers the various transformations of this religious foundation, from a nunnery successively to an hospital and priory, till its dissolution as a monastery by Henry VIII.; and also the account of that portion of it which was allotted to be the parish-church of St. Alphage till the present period. An account of its restoration, both as an ecclesiastical and charitable foundation, very properly occurs.
[*] Vol. II. 462.
|View all images in this book|
|Howell's View of London|
|View of the Fire of London|
|The Conduits of Cheapside and Cornhill|
|Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765|
|Frost Fair on the River Thames|
|Part of the Strand: St. Clement's Danes|
|Ancient Structure in Ship Yard: Temple Bar|
|St. Paul's Cross and Cathedral: With King James I and his Court at a Sermon|
|Ancient Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London|
|Paul's Cross (and Preaching There)|
|Elsinge Spital, Sion College, and the Church of St. Alphage, London Wall|
|Elsinge's Hospital; or, as it is otherwise denominated, Elsynge Spittle|
|The Priory and Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield|
|The Church of St. Bartholomew the Less: Giltspure Street, West Smithfield, in the Ward of Farringdon Without|
|Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street|
|The Priory and Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Street|
|Monument of Sir Andrew Judde, Knight: In the Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Within|
|St. Michael's Church: Cornhill|
|The Parish Church of St. Paul, Shadwell: In the County of Middlesex|
|The Parish Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: In Cornhill Ward|
|Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill|
Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Interments in the Old Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Monuments and Inscriptions in the Present Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: Finished, A.D. 1681
Gifts and Charities of the Parish of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Rectors of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Library and School of St. Peter's upon Cornhill
|St. Saviour's Church|
|St. Saviour's Church, Southwark|
|Winchester Palace, Southwark|
|Chapels at the Eastern End of the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark|
|Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem|
|An Account of Bermondsey, its Manor, Priory, and Abbey|
|Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate|
|St. Martin-le-Grand College, and St. Vedast, Foster Lane|
|A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London|
|Lambe's Chapel and Alms-Houses: Monkwell Street, Cripplegate|
|The late Mr. Skelton's Meeting House, Erected Near the Site of the Globe Theatre, Maid Lane, Southwark|
|Zoar Street, Gravel Lane, Meeting House and School|
|Oratory, Under the Antient Mansion, or Inn, of the Priors of Lewes in Sussex|
|Whitehall: Plate I|
|Whitehall: Plate II|
|Whitehall: Plate III|
|St. James's Palace|
|Fawkeshall, or Copped Hall, Surrey|
|Toten-Hall, Tottenham Court Road|
|King John's Palace|
|Clarendon House, called also Albemarle House|
|Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses|
|Sir Paul Pindar's House|
|Montagu House: Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury|
|The British Museum|
|Bedford House, Bloomsbury Square|
|Peterborough House, afterward Grosvenor House, Millbank, Westminster|
|Craven House, Drury Lane|
|Ancient Mansion called Monteagle House: Montague Close, Southwark|
|Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn|